Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pressure Canning Beans ~ Some Talk, Tips and Tutorials


"She went to the cupboard, looked thoughtfully at the contents of the shelves. A sack of beans caught her eye. Ah, that was the very thing."
~ Loula Grace Erdman, Excerpt from The Wide Horizon

My new favorite preserving adventures in the winter months are stock-piling my pantry shelves with a variety of beans. First off, it is very enjoyable to can foods in the chilly months (no sweat shop in your kitchen)! Second, home canned beans taste so much better in my opinion. Third, it is very convenient to have canned beans in the pantry (it is practically a meal in a jar)! And lastly, you can customize your beans to your preferences (such as pre-soaked for the stomach, size of jars and flavors). 


To begin, here are the tutorials I used and loved for learning how to pressure can and how to do beans specifically (both by The Prairie Homestead). With these excellent resources, my fear of pressure canning was finally removed and the fun began!
I also wanted to share some additional homemaking tips and ideas which I have learned along the way that may further benefit your bean canning adventures:



"Katie stood still, regarding those beans. Mama had always said that the excellent thing about beans was that they were so easy to cook. She wished now that she had learned the "so easy" way of cooking them."
~ Loula Grace Erdman, Excerpt from The Wide Horizon

Basic Pressure Canning Tips:
  • If you have hard water, add a couple "glugs" of vinegar to your pressure canner water so that your jars don't come out with white filmy residue.
  • There is no need to sterilize the lids or simmer them anymore. See this link for details.

"She started to slide the lid on the pan, then regarded it uncertainly. That looked like a mighty few beans. They wouldn't last for more than one meal... She went back to the sack, got out some more beans. She washed them, added them to the others. The pan was full to the top now and she felt better about the matter..."
~ Loula Grace Erdman, Excerpt from The Wide Horizon

Basic Canning Beans Tips:
  • A large 16 quart stock-pot is "just large enough" to prepare 14 quarts of beans for your pressure canner (if your pressure canner holds 14 quarts of course). I soak my beans in the 16 quart pot overnight, drain the water, rinse the beans and add fresh water to cover the beans by a few inches before bringing to a boil and ladling into my canning jars. 
  • To make 14 quarts of beans, you will need to count out and prepare approximately 20 cups of dry beans. I like to be on the more exact side so that I am not stuck with extra soaked beans at the end. If that does happen, you can freeze them and can them in the next session. Obviously, to make 7 quarts of beans, you would use half the amount of dry beans and so forth.
  • Use wide mouth jars when canning beans for convenience. It is easier to remove them. However, when necessary, I have used regular mouthed jars plenty of times.
  • Make sure your head space is proper (err on the side of less full) or you will have sticky jars with overflowed juice that may not seal. Pressure canned beans get really bubbly so I strongly suggest that you listen to the headspace requirement.
  • Also, I do something called fake canning (you are about to see how frugal I can be). If I know I am going to want to use a few jars of my beans during the upcoming week, I will place a "used" canning lid (which I mark with a star or something) so that we can eat the prepared beans that week without wasting a "new" canning lid. {This tip is for the ultra el-cheapos out there like myself.} This just allows me some instant cooked beans but they do need storing in the refrigerator.

"When they went into the room they were greeted by a spattering sound... Katie did not need her sister's shrill voice to warn her. She herself could see the beans, running over the top of the pan, on the stove. They were sticking to the hot stove lid--the smell was awful."
~ Loula Grace Erdman, Excerpt from The Wide Horizon

I like to prepare my pinto beans with a bit of flavor so I add 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning to the bottom of each quart jar prior to ladling the beans into the jar. This makes for a tasty and still versatile bean (if you like extra spicy, add an extra teaspoon). Here are fourteen ways that we like to eat our pinto beans! 


For our black beans, I pressure can them in only water. I don't add anything to these jars as it fits better with the recipes I use them for. Here are our favorite ways to eat black beans.


And lastly, I have been experimenting with white beans (butter beans being my favorite). I also can these without seasoning and use them for this Alfredo recipe. They can be tossed into an impromptu salad. I also puree them and add them into baked macaroni and cheese dishes for extra protein. Making white bean dips is something I am trying out but haven't yet to find the right recipe. Perhaps you have one you would like to share or do you have some bean canning tips?



"And, of course, the beans in the pan on the stove, keeping warm... Bert went to them, raised the lid. "Oh, beans--" he said. He lifted the lid of another pan. "Beans--too." In rapid succession, he lifted three lids... "Golly!" he exclaimed in amazement. "Golly -- if she hasn't gone and cooked three pans of beans!"
~ Loula Grace Erdman, Excerpt from The Wide Horizon


20 comments:

  1. Nutty I know, but I think the sight of beans lined up is pretty - with the varying colors etc:)

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  2. This is my absolute favorite Bean Dip:

    Bean Dip
    Serves: 6

    3 (15-ounce) cans white Italian kidney beans (cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
    2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
    2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1 Tbs. dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh minced basil
    1 tsp. salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste.

    Place beans, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor. Puree until smooth. With motor running slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified and thoroughly mixed.

    Scrape dip into bowl and add sun-dried tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, basil, salt and pepper. Stir.

    Serve with crackers, chips or fresh veggies.

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    1. Thank you! You are wonderful to take the time and type this up for me! Will be giving this a try as soon as I get my hands on the sun-dried tomatoes! :)

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  3. I've never used tried pressure canning but, I have a canning board and thought this would be nice on it. I found your post from a blog hop. Off to look at your other recipes. Stop by anytime. Theresa @DearCreatives

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  4. Awesome tutorial JES! Beans are one thing that I haven't canned yet. Putting that on my to-do list!!! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  5. Thanks for suggesting this ..although I love to make beans in the crock pot in the winter it would be so much easier in the summer to open a can of beans.




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  6. This is definitely on my list of things I'd like to do one day. Thanks for sharing this excellent tutorial, JES. Pinning it now.

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  7. Thank you for this great tutorial. I've never canned beans before, but I really should. What a savings over buying canned beans!

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  8. And now I'm inspired to go can some beans :)

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  9. Lovely post on canning beans, JES! I've canned for years, but I've never done dried beans. I'll have to change that as I'm feeling the pull after reading this post. :) Love your toile linens. And I think I'm going to look for the book(s) your quotes are from, too. I'm not above reading a good book no matter what age it is suggested for. Thank you and have a great day!

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    Replies
    1. I am with you on the books! I pre-read all the chapter books for my daughter and I end up enjoying them tremendously as well! :)

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  10. Good afternoon! I love this post on canning dried beans! I canned some of the black turtle beans I grew last summer and they turned out quite delicious! I read a book on canning beef and the author suggested that if you are canning beef and your canner isn't full - fill it up with beans! I did this with some spices in the beans and they were wonderful. In fact, all I had to do was dump a pint jar of beans into a pot with a pint jar of canned beef chunks and - et voila - chili! Oh - canning the beans with the meat did not change the flavor of either, since both are fairly strong flavors. However, I did not try this with white beans - just the black beans and pinto beans. I would think that canning white beans with chicken would be good, but I'm not sure. Have a great day!

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  11. Hello Jes, I need to really take some time and try canning beans, as I love beans and I do make them fresh fairly often! But then I freeze them for future use! I also think looking at dried beans in jars on the counter looks so wholesome!
    Always, Roxy

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  12. I have always wanted to try canning beans! It's funny, because my mom in law, Roxy and I keep saying we will try these and then life gets busy and another year goes by and we have yet to attempt them! I'll have to suggest it one more time and pull out the pressure canner!

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!
    Amy

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  13. Thanks for your great tips! I have very hard water and always get the white film on my jars so I am super excited to try the vinegar tip. Your recipes sound great too, as well as that bean dip recipe in the comments. I'll need to get me another batch of beans bottled with all these new recipes to try.

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  14. I want a pressure canner so bad. My house is too tiny to add more stuff to it right now though. But eventually! And then I will have all the beans!

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  15. Now this is something I would like to try. I will be saving this page for future reference. I truly appreciate your wisdom and knowledge, sweet friend. Thank you for sharing at ROI. Blessings to you!

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  16. Thank you for sharing this great post at Good Morning Morning Mondays. We don't eat a lot of beans but I really enjoy canning and appreciate your hints and tips. Blessings

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  17. I'm guessing you've heard about the joys (and many uses!!) of aquafaba by now, but your comment on butter beans made me want to offer this tip. I recently made a faux tuna salad made with jackfruit. Although there was mayo in it, there was only a small amount...the rest of the creaminess came from pureed white beans! I am going to make some potato salad tomorrow using this same concept.

    p.s.
    You can use the aquafaba from your own canned beans...it is not a special property of store-bought beans. Here are two links if you're interested. (I don't buy or use eggs, but even if you do, it is still awesome to frugally use what you would normally throw away!)

    http://aquafaba.com/
    https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/13-amazing-things-you-can-do-aquafaba

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    Replies
    1. Wow, I have never heard of this but will definitely check out your links!! Thank you for sharing! :)

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